5 things that could cost you your security deposit

Category: Housing

Couple signing real-estate contract

Are you renting your home? Most landlords will require that tenants pay a security deposit when they move in, which is meant to take care of any possible incidentals. Assuming everything is fine when you move out, you should eventually receive your security deposit back. In some cases, however, you might only receive a portion of your security deposit back. Depending on the exactly condition of your apartment after you’ve moved out, you might not get any of it back, or you might even receive a bill in the mail if the damage exceeded the amount of your security deposit. Although it can vary depending by specific apartment community or landlord, the following are some examples of things that could cost you your security deposit:

Damage to the apartment

Any damage to the home you were living in can result in losing all or part of security deposit. If it costs money to fix the damage, the money in your security deposit is used for those costs. You might receive a bill in the mail if the cost to repair the damage is more than your security deposit. If you notice anything broken before you move out, you might want to try to fix it yourself. It could be easier and cheaper to repair it on your own, rather than have your landlord deal with it once you move out. 

Moving out late

If you were expected to move out on a specific date and you had to stay longer, you might lose some of your security deposit, especially if you aren’t paying rent for the extra time you’re staying. If another tenant needed to move in by a certain date, and you didn’t move out on time, that could cause a delay and cost the landlord money. You might end up absorbing these costs by losing all or a portion of your security deposit.

Leaving a mess behind

Landlords don’t usually expect apartments to be spic-and-span when a previous tenant moves out, and most will hire a professional cleaning company to get the apartment in pristine condition again before the next tenant moves in. However, if the mess is excessive and requires a lot more work beyond the basic cleaning, you’ll usually be charged for it. This is especially the case if you leave a lot of junk, garbage, and large unwanted items behind.


If you had any pets, you might lose your pet deposit fee on top of your security deposit if they left behind any damage. If you never did declare your pets in order to avoid a pet deposit fee, you might still receive a bill if there is any evidence that you did have pets in your apartment. 

Breaking your lease

Breaking your lease isn’t just bad for your credit, but it could also cost you your security deposit. If you were past due on rent before you moved out and broke your lease, your security deposit will usually be used to help cover some of those costs.

Do you need money to catch up on past due bills and other expenses? Peachtree Financial Solutions may be able to help get you the cash you need if you’re the recipient of a structured settlement payment stream. By selling all or some of your future payments to Peachtree, you can receive your money sooner and in one lump sum. To learn more about selling future payments for a lump sum of cash, contact Peachtree Financial Solutions today.

Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.

Tags: leases, pets, renting a home, security deposits

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